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Whiteland senior West off to fast start in golf state finals

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Playing through intermittent rain showers during the morning hours.

But Whiteland Community High School senior Alexa West wasn’t bothered by the weather.

That was evidenced by her impressive score after Friday’s first round of the IHSAA Girls State Golf Finals at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin.

West heads into today’s final round in a four-way tie for 12th place after shooting an 18-hole round of 4-over par 76. The round was a career-low for the two-time state qualifier.

“Maybe we should play in the rain more often,” West jokingly told Warriors coach Kristen Welker after the round.

With a large gallery of support from teammates, family and friends, West got off to a fast start with a birdie on the first hole. Her tee shot found the center of the fairway, and her approach came up five yards short of the green.

With a chipping iron, West rolled it on to the green and into the cup with the flag still planted.

From there, she stayed at 1-under through the first eight holes.

Once the rain dissipated, temperatures began to climb under sunny skies.

“I’ve learned to play hole-by-hole and shot-by-shot,” West said. “The most important thing is the next shot.

“If you can get a birdie you can and if you can’t, par it. If you have a bogey, move on and keep playing your best.”

Meanwhile, Roncalli senior Abbey Gleixner, a Greenwood resident, carded a 6-over 78 and is tied for 20th overall in the 100-player field.

Opportunities presented themselves throughout Gleixner’s round, but putts of 8- to 10-feet would not fall.

“I made the turn at 2-over and wanted to get it going, but I took a double bogey, and that’s not good to have on your scorecard,” Gleixner said. “It wasn’t my best day, but I’ll be ready (today).”

Valparaiso senior Harley Dubskey is the overall leader after firing a 4-under-par 68.

In the team standings after one round, Carmel finished with a score of 304. Penn is in second place with a 320, and Zionsville is third at 322.

The championship round gets under way at 8:30 a.m. today.

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